2016 in Review: UofL Cycling 12th in MWCCC Road Season

The 2016 Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference road season was historic in some ways. It saw the addition of a new event, inclement weather and was the final season with divisional rankings that mixed varsity and club teams alike.  At the conclusion of the Conference Championships hosted by Purdue University, UofL cycling finished 12th of 16 teams in Div. I.

The third road season for the Cardinals featured a modest haul of results, but a key shift in participation from previous years. Four women raced for UofL and two men raced in the A category, the highest participation figures since the team’s founding. The team saw contributions from ten different athletes in four different categories, once again the most diverse group since the team’s founding.

Another point of growth for UofL Cycling is the Cardinal Criterium, the first race ever hosted by a cycling club out of the University of Louisville.

Relive each of the Cardinals’ races in the 2016 MWCCC road season:

Cardinal Criterium– March 12

The first-ever race hosted by the University of Louisville was held at Long Run Park. The race, a successful first event, drew some of the largest collegiate fields of the season.

John Francisco led the Cardinals in his only appearance of the season, finishing 12th in the Men’s A race. Ben King came in 33rd to begin his season-long ascent in the conference.

Rikus Van Zyl finished 6th in the men’s C while Evan Cruson finished 16th.

In the Men’s D, triathlon crossovers Nick Reader and Erik Seibt finished 13th and 22nd while Greg Lewis finished 52nd.

Representing UofL in the Women’s B/C field were Emma Coakley in 24th, Irina Miralda in 26th and Caroline DuPlessis, who after a mechanical was unable to finish.

Lindsey Wilson College Road RaceMarch 19 & 20

In the Women’s B race, Caroline DuPlessis and Kelsey Voit crossed the line together in 18th and 19th after completing the 25-mile wind swept course.

In the Men’s C, Rikus Van Zyl cleaned up a group sprint for 5th after a four man break attacked on the final climb. Jacob Holtgrewe ushered Van Zyl up the climb and settled in for 19th while Abner Miralda finished 26th.

Michigan State Strade Marrone & University of Michigan Criterium – April 2 & 3

A race weekend for tough athletes, it featured dirt roads, and sub-freezing temperatures accompanied by snow and sleet.

In the Individual Time Trials, Abner Miralda earned 4th place in the Men’s C category while Greg Lewis finished 7th in the Men’s D event.

The road race saw Miralda finish 12th and Lewis 28th in their respective categories.

Lewis went on to finish 21st in the D criterium while Miralda earned 9th in the Men’s C.

Notre Dame Cycling Classic – April 9 & 10

Cancelled due to heavy snow!

Lindenwood Road Extravaganza – April 16 & 17

The hilliest parcours in the MWCCC saw Ben King rise to 18th in the Men’s A race while Rikus Van Zyl rode to 7th in the Men’s C, followed by Jacob Holtgrewe in 13th.

The downtown criterium in St. Charles, MO featured a sharp turn with a long stretch of cobbles. King finished 17th in the A’s while Van Zyl raced to 9th and Holtgrewe to 25th in the Men’s C.

Purdue MWCCC Championships – April 23 & 24

In the Men’s D road race Greg Lewis finished 33rd while Rikus Van Zyl earned his best placement of the year with 4th place in the C’s. Kelsey Voit anchored the women with an 11th place in the B’s. Ben King finished 16th in the Men A’s.

In the criterium Ben King finished 32nd.

Hind sight is 20/20 and although the Cardinals failed to best 2015’s 6th place finish in Div. I with a 12th place finish, the group’s progress in diversifying and growing is promising as USA Cycling has split collegiate cycling from its past of school-size sanctioning. Starting in mid 2016, USAC moved to Varsity and Club divisions stacking up similarly resourced teams against one another.

The new alignment helps club programs, like the University of Louisville Student Cycling Coalition, stand on their own and out of the shadow of larger, better funded varsity programs.

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2016 in Review: Ben King TT’s at Road Nationals

The 2016 USA Cycling Amateur Road Nationals were in Louisville on June 30-July 1 and fittingly, the home team was represented by Ben King at the Men’s Open Time Trial.

The 34k time trial course in Taylorsville, Ky featured two gradual slopes. The first, a right hand turn onto Overlook Road with an out-and-back turn and a final ascent up little Mt. Road with a turnaround leading straight downhill to the finish line.

“I had a good pace on the uphill,” said King. “There was a little head wind on the descend so you still had to work.”

King finished the Time Trial in 64th place with a time of 50:58.68.

“It was cool to race a national championship here in Louisville,” said King.

Throughout the spring collegiate season he contributed to UofL Cycling as one of the team’s only two Category A riders, earning the squad’s best result- a 16th place finish- at the Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) Championship hosted by Purdue University.

The 2017 USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championship will be hosted once again by Louisville from June 29th to July 2, 2017.

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Francisco Elected President, SCC Election Results 

The student members of the Student Cycling Coalition cast their ballots on Nov. 30 to elect the organization’s student leaders for the 2017 calendar year. Headlining the results is the selection of engineering student John Francisco as president.

Francisco brings years of experience to the leadership of the Student Cycling Coalition. A three year member of the organization, he has experienced and contributed to the growth of the organization. He has extensive knowledge of the cycling industry both from a retail and experience standpoint, having worked with the SCC’s partner bicycle shop VO2 Multisport and his racing in national and international events as a junior.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the team,” said Francisco. “I will work to continue to grow and improve it.”

The former president, Jacob Holtgrewe, was elected to the recruitment position. During his tenure as president in 2016 the team grew it’s non-racing activity extensively and developed a strong mountain bike program.

Studio art student Nick Reader was retained as Triathlon Coordinator and will be joined by pre-med/biology student Chris Nupp as co-coordinator.

After organizing the mountain bike team to its best-ever season, Kalem Fetters will take the reigns as the Cycling Coordinator.

Elijah Eisert, a political science major, was elected secretary of the organization. He will manage both internal and external communication of the organization.

Engineering student Greg Lewis was elected controller and will manage the budget of the Student Cycling Coalition.

The uniform and merchandise coordinator will be Charlie Hamilton.

The new officers will begin their terms on January 1st, 2017.

Francisco Wins Twice, Mountain Bike Squad Shines at Marian

By Abner Miralda

The University of Louisville mountain bike squad traveled to Indianapolis to earn nine total podium finishes including two wins by James Francisco at the Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference race weekend hosted by Marian University.

On Saturday, freshman James Francisco powered into third place in the B’s Short Track Cross Country race, earning his first result of the weekend. He went on to earn either a podium or a win in every event he entered. Fellow freshman teammate Josh Smithson crossed behind him in 4th place.

Foregoing the cyclocross scene this weekend, Kelsey Voit competed in her first collegiate mountain bike race. She used her ‘cross skills to secure 2nd place in the B’s Short Track race, the best women’s result the mountain bike team has earned to date.

Later in the day, Francisco won the Men’s B Four-Cross, a similar event to BMX racing, edging out teammate Kalem Fetters who settled for second. In the Men’s A Mark Renn was eliminated before the final round, finishing with the 5th best time of the day.

In the Men’s C, sophomore Matt Robertson, making his collegiate debut, led the final heat but crashed out, crossing the line in 4th without injury. Freshman Charlie Hamilton saved the event for the Cardinals with a 3rd place finish.

The following day in the Cross Country race, Francisco displayed his fitness once again by earning 3rd place finish in the Men’s B category through a twisty single track course that featured a steep gravel climb with a brutal 30% grade. Teammates Smithson and Abner Miralda followed thereafter finishing 6th and 7th respectively.

Voit willed her bike down the fast, flowing descents of the course into a 3rd place finish in the Women’s B while Elijah Eisert slotted into 7th in the Men’s C category.

Francisco who has become a top rider for the Cardinals this season, finished the weekend with a win in the Men’s B Downhill.

“The [course] had some awesome jumps,” he said of the rolling, pump-heavy course. “I liked how it had some riskier options.”

He beat 2nd place finisher and teammate Kalem Fetters in the Men’s B final by four seconds with a time of 1:22. The result was only two seconds slower than teammate Mark Renn who styled his way down the trail into 5th place in the Men’s A event.

In the Men’s C race, Robertson closed his weekend with a 3rd place run of 1:32, beating 4th place finisher and teammate Hamilton by a solitary second. Eisert chased soon after, earning 5th with a time of 1:48.

Francisco credited the squad for the results. “It’s a great group of people who love fun and helping out their teammates.”

The Cardinals will race next at Lindsey Wilson College on Oct. 1&2 in a Dual-Conference event with the South Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.

Follow Louisville Cycling and Triathlon on all Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @UofLcycling.

 

MTB Season Begins With Two Wins, CX is Here

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​The mountain bike and cyclocross squads successfully began their respective seasons with two wins and several podium finishes

By Abner Miralda

The Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference kicked off the 2016 mountain bike season with a weekend of cross country, downhill and short track events hosted by the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.

Leading the way for the Cardinals, Junior Mark Renn sped through the downhill course to a third place finish in the men’s A. “I was expecting a podium,” he admitted, but said a slight cold affected his form. “It hindered my performance in the pedaling sections of a very pedally course.”

In the Men’s B downhill, Freshman James Francisco raced his way onto the top step of the podium in his first collegiate race. The Men’s C team swept the downhill podium with Sophomore Kalem Fetters on the top step, Freshman Josh Smithson in second and Sophomore Casey Thomas in 3rd.

In the B’s short track cross country, Francisco finished 5th while Smithson finished 8th. In the cross country race they finished 5th and 10th respectively.  

The C’s cross country team saw Junior Elijah Eisert will his way onto his first podium in 3rd while Thomas raced into 10th.

“It was an amazing trip,” Mark Renn said. “We all worked together as a team.” The MTB squad will compete next at Marian University in Indianapolis on Sept. 24 & 25.

The cyclocross team began its preparation for the collegiate season at the OVCX-Lexington race in Lexington, Kentucky. 

The team was led by Rikus Van Zyl with a 4th place finish in the Men’s Cat 4, while Jacob Holtgrewe finished 20th.
Kelsey Voit pushed the pack in the women’s Cat 4 and finished 3rd, tallying her first podium of the year. 

Greg Lewis, participating in his first CX race filtered through the pack into 9th place. 

The CX team will race next at OVCX-Bloomington on Sept. 18th. 

Follow UofL Cycling on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @uoflcycling.

Get your own UofL Cycling & Triathlon kit!

 

During the month of June you can purchase our official UofL Cycling & Triathlon race-day attire. Our friends at Hincapie Sportswear outdid themselves by producing our beautiful, clean look of red and black and it can finally be yours.

Items for sale & prices

  • Road Jersey $100
  • Bib Shorts $120
  • BMX Jersey $60
  • Triathlon One-Piece, Front Zip $160
  • Lightweight Wind Shell $75
  • Arm Warmers $40
  • Leg Warmers $60

Support your Louisville Cardinals out on the road with our high-quality clothing. The order closes on June 30th. 

About the process:

  • Ordering window June 2-June 30
  • Payment window July 1- July 4
  • Shipping $8
  • Membership Fee $10

To protect our student-operated club from any actions by the U of L Athletics Department and the Collegiate Licensing Company, you must become a community member of the Student Cycling Coalition. Payment can be made at moment of purchase. Go Cards!

kit

Despite Freezing Weather, UofL Cycling Gets Results

East Lansing, Mich.- Greg Lewis and Abner Miralda earned three top-ten finishes at the omnium weekend co-hosted by Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

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By Abner Miralda

On Saturday’s road race, 40 mph sub-freezing gusts, sleet and snow battered riders as they traversed the dirt roads that characterize Michigan State’s “Strade Marrone.” In the Men’s D event, Greg Lewis slotted into 28th place of the 53-man field. In the Men’s C race Abner Miralda finished 12th in the bunch sprint behind the breakaway winners from Michigan State.

As conditions worsened later in the day, riders took to paved roads for an Individual Time Trial. Lewis surged into 7th in the D’s while Miralda gained on opponents to finish 4th in the C’s.

The next day’s criterium in Ann Arbor put riders through a stiff crosswind in near-freezing temperatures. Lewis improved his results, finishing 21st in the D’s just behind the main sprint. In the C’s, Miralda sprinted to 9th after a lone rider from the University of Michigan lapped the field.

The next race for UofL Cycling is the omnium weekend hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana on April 9 and 10.

Weekend Wheelhouse: MWCCC Road and individual recognition

The road team competed at the Lindsey Wilson College Road Race while Emma Coakley and Mark Renn earned individual recognition in the Shelbyville Triathlon Series and the Downhill Southeast Series.

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By Abner Miralda

After a week-long training camp outside Asheville, North Carolina, the UofL Cycling road team competed in the Lindsey Wilson College road race weekend in Columbia, Ky. Rikus Van Zyl, Jacob Holtgrewe and Abner Miralda competed in the Men’s C Team Time Trial and road race, with Van Zyl the top-finishing rider with 5th place. Ben King began the Men’s A race but equipment difficulties ended his race early. Caroline DuPlessis and Kelsey Voit both competed in the Women’s B, crossing the line together in a friendly sprint in 18th and 19th place respectively.

Emma Coakley competed in the second race of the Shelbyville Triathlon Series, posting the fastest swim times overall for both men and women en route to her age-group win.

Mark Renn completed the Downhill Southeast Series in 13th place overall after posting an 18th place run at Bailey Mountain outside Asheville, North Carolina.

The next time UofL Cycling will compete will be the University of Michigan Criterium in Ann Arbor and the Michigan State Road Race in East Lansing on April 2nd &3rd.

UofL Cycling & Triathlon partner with Hincapie Sportswear, will produce a UofL Supporter’s Jersey

The iconic cycling and triathlon clothing brand Hincapie Sportswear will be the official performance-wear provider of Louisville Cycling & Triathlon in 2016. UofL Cycling and Triathlon joins Hincapie’s Collegiate Program to race and train in custom, team-issue Hincapie clothing. In addition, UofL Cycling and the University of Louisville are partnering with Hincapie to produce high-quality UofL supporter cycling apparel.

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UofL Cycling & Triathlon will wear custom Hincapie clothes in all of its competitions. “It’s an exciting chance for the team to grow, and this partnership is exactly what we need since Hincapie has such an extensive catalog that fits all our needs,” says Irina Miralda, the team Clothing and Merchandising coordinator. UofL Cycling will race cyclocross, road, mountain bike and BMX in Hincapie’s full offering of winter clothing, jerseys, bib shorts, skinsuits, and tech shirts. Meanwhile, UofL Triathlon will race in the company’s draft-legal one piece suits. The official UofL Cycling & Triathlon uniform will be unveiled before the first collegiate road race on March 12th.

A different design bearing the logos of the University of Louisville will be produced for fans and enthusiasts of UofL Cycling & Triathlon and the University of Louisville. These items will become available for purchase through UofLcycling.com once a community membership with the Student Cycling Coalition is purchased for $10. The Supporter’s Cycling Jersey will go on sale on Feb. 1st­­, 2016.

Founded by former UCI World Tour racer George and his brother Rich Hincapie, the sportswear company embodies the two brothers’ passion for cycling and their desire to see the sport grow at all levels. Seth Withers, a Hincapie representative says, “We [support] collegiate cycling because these riders end up graduating and creating an impact on their cycling communities.” Withers explains the Hincapie Collegiate Program offers student-operated clubs like the UofL Student Cycling Coalition, “Financial means to continue growing.” The program provides Hincapie products to members of affiliated collegiate programs and financial returns to the teams themselves. Team President Jacob Holtgrewe says, “It’s exciting to see how eager they are to work with us and be part of our team.” In addition, Hincapie offers its affordable, high-quality clothing to Non-Profit Organizations, Events, and Bike Shops through special programs.

Hincapie Sportswear was founded in 1998 and operates out of Greenville, SC with a proprietary factory in Medellin, Colombia, the Hincapie family’s country of origin. The company also promotes the Hincapie Grand Fondo and sponsors several professional racing teams.

UofL Cycling and Triathlon are operated by the UofL Student Cycling Coalition and regularly compete in collegiate national championships. UofL Cycling competes in the Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) and UofL Triathlon competes in the Mid East Collegiate Triathlon Conference (MECTC).

To learn about Hincapie Sportswear, visit http://www.hincapie.com/learn_more/hincapie_story/

To order premium custom sports apparel or learn about the different community Hincapie programs, visit http://hincapiecustom.com/

Francisco 18th, King 43rd at Cyclocross Nationals

Asheville, N.C.– On a muddy and difficult course at the Biltmore Estate that featured more than 400 vertical feet of climbing in a roughly one mile course, John Francisco rode to 18th place while Ben King rode to 43rd place at the USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships. The event marked the fourth time UofL Cycling has featured at a national championship.

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By Abner Miralda

Francisco entered the race in excellent position, starting from the front row as the representative of the Mid-West Cycling Collegiate Conference after winning the championship in November. “It was really cool to start at the front,” said Francisco, “The field was stacked [with talent].” The UofL sophomore struggled through the technical sections of the course in the tightly packed traffic of the first lap, falling to a top-25 position. “My last lap was good, which made up for the first,” he smiled immediately after the race, managing to pull ahead from a handful of riders into 18th place. “It was one of the best courses I’ve ever ridden.”

Graduate student Ben King finished 43rd. King was off to a fast start from his grid spot near the back of the 75-man field, slinking gracefully past heavy traffic in the most technical sections of the course. “It was great for me because there were some really technical sections,” said King after the race, “but I didn’t have the legs today.” King was unable to respond to the surges of chasing riders on the long grassy straightaways and choppy corners, but was able to battle back at the tricky off-camber and wooded sections.

The race was won convincingly by defending national champion and Louisville native Drew Dillman, racing for Marian University in Indianapolis.

The 2016 Cyclocross National Championships marks the one-year anniversary since the first-ever national championship appearance for UofL Cycling when Francisco and King represented UofL in Austin, Tex. at the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships. Since then, UofL Cycling has been represented at Collegiate Road Nationals by Francisco and Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals by Mark Renn.

To learn more about the 2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, visit https://usacycling.org/cx/

To follow live tweets of UofL Cycling & Triathlon races, follow us at www.twitter.com/uoflcycling